18 May 2007

Moderate Republicans

The Economist has an interesting article about a newly-elected Republican governor who's reaching out to Democrats, sharing credit, and winning over the people of the state. No, not her:

For much of his political career Charlie Crist, the new Republican governor of Florida, was seen as a bit of a lightweight. With his tanned face and neat silver hair, he looked a standard-issue moderate conservative. But since his election last November he has impressed both the left and the right. A poll by Quinnipiac University in March found that 73% of Florida's voters, including 71% of Democrats, approve of the job he is doing. Amazingly, that is 11% better than the highest approval rating of his popular predecessor, Jeb Bush.

In his first 100 days Mr Crist has called for a fight against global warming, an expansion of stem-cell research and the introduction of paper ballots to replace the state's infamous touch-screen voting machines. He also wants to restore voting rights for criminals released from jail: quite a reversal for someone once nicknamed “Chain Gang Charlie” for advocating forced prison labour. And his efforts on behalf of minorities have prompted some to call him the state's “first black governor”. He prodded the state legislature to give $5m to the family of a 14-year-old black boy who died after a beating by guards at a boot camp for juveniles.

But for the silver hair, that almost sounds like a description of Sarah Palin, right down to the lightweight comment. Sarah's ratings are - ahem - no measly 73%, though.

I post it only to note that perhaps Republicans (and Democrats as well) are actually learning from the disastrous Bush years: people don't like incompetent and divisive government that seeks partisan goals before policy goals. Now if only this lesson would spread to Congress as well.

1 comment:

First Alaskan Man said...

Well said